Spain’s scandal-hit former king faces credit card probe

Spanish prosecutors have opened an investigation into whether former king Juan Carlos I used credit cards linked to accounts not registered in his name in a possible money-laundering offence, judicial sources said Wednesday.

Spain's scandal-hit former king faces credit card probe
Photo: AFP

The probe is latest of a string of legal inquiries into the finances of the scandal-hit 82-year-old who fled into self imposed exile in the United Arab Emirates in August.   

His departure came as investigators in Spain and Switzerland were looking his financial affairs following revelations by his former mistress, German businesswoman Corinna Larsen.

Anti-corruption prosecutors opened their investigation at the end of 2019 but it only came to light on Tuesday with the publication of a story by online news site

Legal sources said they were looking into the origin of funds deposited in several Spanish bank accounts held by a Mexican business and an official in the Spanish Air Force, and whether the money in them had been used by the
former monarch.   

Prosecutors had sent various legal requests abroad to determine whether the monies deposited in the accounts had been hidden from the Spanish tax authorities, the source said, without specifying which countries were involved.   

If proven, the allegations could constitute a money laundering offence for which he could be prosecuted given that the movement of funds and use of the credit cards occurred after his abdication in June 2014, meaning he no longer had immunity as head of state.

The Supreme Court confirmed that anti-corruption prosecutors had registered a preliminary investigation into Juan Carlos but did not give any other details.

Contacted by AFP, the Sanchez-Junco law firm representing Juan Carlos made no comment on the investigation.

In 2018, Spanish prosecutors opened a probe into the Saudi high-speed rail contract, which was awarded to a consortium of Spanish companies, seeking to establish whether the king emeritus was paid a commission.

In March, Swiss daily La Tribune said Saudi's late king Abdullah had in 2008 deposited $100 million into a Swiss private bank to which Juan Carlos had access, prompting suspicions it was a kickback for the contract which was
awarded three years later.   

On August 3rd, the octagenarian announced he was going into exile abroad to prevent his personal affairs from undermining the reign of his son King Felipe VI, prompting anti-monarchists to accuse him of trying to “flee justice”.

In a statement issued through his lawyer, in August, Juan Carlos denied trying to escape justice and said he would remain available to prosecutors.


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Swedish Crown Princess and Prince catch Covid-19 for the second time

Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria and her husband Prince Daniel have both tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time, although the pair have very mild cold symptoms.

Swedish Crown Princess and Prince catch Covid-19 for the second time
Both Crown Princess Victoria and Prince Daniel have tested positive for Covid-19. Photo: TT

Sweden’s Royal Court announced that Prince Daniel had tested positive in a press release issued on Sunday, while Crown Princess Victoria’s second infection was revealed in another release on Saturday.

The royal couple, who are both fully vaccinated, first tested positive for the virus in March last year, and have only mild symptoms. 


According to the press releases Prince Daniel was suffering “very mild symptoms and feels well”, while Princess Victoria has “the symptoms of a cold but otherwise feels well”.  

The couple are both now isolating in Haga Palace in the north of Stockholm, where they have lived since 2010. 

Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia, who are triple-vaccinated, both tested positive on Tuesday. The couple are now symptom-free, but are continuing their isolation at Drottningholm Palace to the west of Stockholm. 

Prince Carl Philip, Victoria’s younger brother, and his wife Princess Sofia were the first Swedish royals to test positive in November 2020.